The newly launched competency tracking platform SkillUP will allow the sultanate to measure the competency level of local manpower within the country’s energy sector, allowing for a more informed decision making for manpower development in the future. 

The digital application was launched on Wednesday during the Manpower Industry Steering Committee (MISC) Working Group for Energy (MISC-WG Energy) Engagement Day held at the Grand Hall of V-Plaza in Kuala Belait. 

Developed in tandem with the competence-based qualifications programme iSkill by local mobile solutions company, DotRoot Technologies, SkillUP is a career and skills tracking application for contractors, employees and regulators within the oil and gas industry.

iSkill on the other hand is a competence development programme that was introduced in August of last year which involved a comprehensive review on Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) run programmes for the energy sector. 

(From L to R) Dr Chin Wei Keh, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of Education (MOE), Dato Seri Paduka Hj Matsatejo Sokiaw, Deputy Minister of Energy, Hjh Rosita Hassan, MISC-WG Energy Lead, and Rob Van Velden, BSP Finance Director. Image: Wardi Wasil

“If someone is looking for a job and looking to upskill themselves in the field, they can use the platform to track their career progress,” said DotRoot Chief Operating Officer, Khairul Anwar. 

“That data can be used by future employers or contractors within the energy sector to gauge whether or not the person is qualified for the job they applied for or the job they are doing,” he added. 

The platform also allows individuals to record their learning and training progress with every achievement or additional experience. 

MISC-WG Energy Lead cum In-Country Value Manager of Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), Hjh Rosita Hassan said that the SkillUP application will initially be used by the iSkill students, however, will be implemented to every oil and gas company under the Brunei Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) in phases. 

“The initial phase will be for students that graduate from IBTE (under the iSkill programme) but we have also engaged with the industry (on adapting the SkillUP app) and therefore will be expanding it (later) to the existing workers,” she said during an interview with the media. 

Currently, the SkillUP app features competency programmes for welding and scaffolder, two of the five iSkill programmes that are already in place, however, it will soon be extended to the remaining skills which include rigger, blaster painter and marker/pipe fitter.

“Eventually we will also include all the other skills because, within the oil and gas industry, there are a lot more skills that those five and we will be expanding it to the other skills so that more and more workers can use it as their development tool,” she continued. 

Hjh Rosita went on to say that the data that will be collected through the SkillUP app will be essential towards local manpower development in the future as “it will contain those information that we do not have today”. 

“(Currently) we do not have the database, we do not have the information on where the local workforce is (in terms of) where their skill levels are,” she said. 

With SkillUP, according to the MISC-WG lead, regulators, as well as the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC), would have the information to discern which area or how many of the local workforce that is already assessed to be competent. 

“When you measure this data against maybe the number of foreign workers, then you will start to see that there are maybe locals who have been assessed to be competent and are ready to take over some of the job positions that are currently being held by foreign workers,” she continued. 

Guests attending MISC-WG Energy Engagement Day held at the Grand Hall of V-Plaza, Kuala Belait. Image: Wardi Wasil

“So this is where the data can help with maybe better decision making from the relevant authorities. The data however will not be public as there will be data privacy (concerning those involved),” added Hjh Rosita.

This article was first published on January 23, 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 125

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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